Your final arrangement goes beyond what you want to happen to your property, even if it must be written in a final will and will or revocable living trust. You should also include what kind of funeral arrangements you want and what should happen to your remains after you die.
Creating a final arrangement document can ensure your last wish is done after your death and lighten the burden of making difficult decisions for your loved ones.
How to Make Your Wishes Known
The best way to let your loved ones know about your funeral wishes is to list specific instructions in a separate document from your will or trust. This separate post should include details about do’s and don’ts so your family doesn’t have to guess at what you want to happen.
The types of information to record in your final arrangements document include:
- Do you want a funeral or a memorial service
- Where should the service be held
- Who should be specifically informed about your death
- Do you want to be cremated or buried
- Where would you like your ashes to be stored or disposed of or where would you like to be buried
- If you have money set aside to pay your final expenses and where is it
You never know when your time is up so don’t wait to write your wish down. It is also important to let your loved ones know that you have created this separate document and where it is stored. This way, they can access it at the right time.
Where to Record Your Last Wishes
When you think about your last wish, it makes sense that the last wish and will comes to mind. You can include your funeral arrangements in your will or trust, but that shouldn’t be the only place where you list your final wishes.
Having a last will and testament or revocable living trust is an important part of your estate planning because that is where you record how you want your property to be distributed after you die. The documents should also include who should be responsible for making sure your property goes where you want it.
Usually, by the time your will or trust is found, your loved ones have already made all the decisions about the disposition of your remains and memorial. You should have separate documents detailing your funeral arrangements and informing your family about it while you are still alive to make sure your wishes come true.
You can also save your funeral arrangements online. Websites such as Farewell Wishes, Afternote, and the Last Wishes app can be used to document and store your funeral arrangements as well as your will or trust and other legacy planning documents.
If you don’t want to write down your last wish or document it online, consider talking to your loved one about what you want to happen when you die. It can be as simple as saying that you will never want to be buried or that you will never want to be cremated. This will go a long way in relieving stress and anxiety during difficult times.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who handles funeral arrangements after death?
You can specify the person who will be responsible for your funeral arrangements in your will, such as a trusted relative or your beneficiary. Otherwise, the state can put the person with your medical power of attorney in charge of what will happen to your body. If you don’t name someone in one of the roles, most states will designate your next of kin as the person legally allowed to make choices about what happens. This is usually a spouse, child, parent, or sibling.
How much does a funeral cost?
How much a funeral costs depends on the type of arrangement you make and where you live. Funerals are usually more expensive than cremations, and adding a viewing service at the funeral home increases the cost. The national average ranges from about $5,000 to nearly $10,000, with grave plots and tombstones adding additional costs. A green funeral, which is carried out in a simple coffin or shroud without embalming or vault, can be less expensive. Fees can range from $2,000 to $8,000.